Citizenship Lawyer Elgin IL

Citizenship Lawyer Elgin IL

While applying for citizenship may appear to others as a straightforward matter that is accomplished by merely applying, the reality is the naturalization process (how one becomes a U.S. citizen other than by birth) can be complicated, and many applicants are denied citizenship for a variety of reasons. If you are in Elgin, Illinois, and have applied or are contemplating applying for citizenship, it is best to seek the assistance of an experienced immigration lawyer.

At Minsky, McCormick & Hallagan, P.C., our citizenship lawyers in Elgin, IL, help clients seeking to become U.S. citizens in understanding how the naturalization process works and helping the clients in going through the process seamlessly.

Requirements for Naturalization (Citizenship) Approval

For an application for citizenship to be approved, an applicant must meet the eligibility criteria and go through the following steps:

Eligibility Criteria

To be favorably considered or have one’s citizenship application approved, the applicant must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Be at least 18 years old at the time of filing the application.
  • Must have been a lawful permanent resident (green card holder) for the past three or five years, depending on which category one is applying under
  • Must have a continuous residence and physical presence in the United States
  • Must be able to speak and read, and write basic English
  • Must show the individual applying is a person of good moral character
  • Must demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of basic U.S. history and government
  • Must demonstrate loyalty to the principles of the U.S. Constitution; and
  • Must be willing to take the Oath of Allegiance.

The Naturalization Application Process

The naturalization application process starts with the filing of Form N-400 Application for Naturalization with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and paying the required fee for the application.

This application can be filed either online or by completing and mailing the form to the USCIS office in which those applications are processed for the state where the applicant resides. In either case, the application for naturalization must be accompanied by all supporting documents.

Once the application has been filed, you will receive a receipt from the USCIS office, which means that your application has been accepted as properly filed.

From this point on, it is a waiting game as USCIS processes these applications on a first filed, first processed basis – meaning those applications filed before yours will have to be acted on first. This causes a waiting time of approximately 12 to 16 months for applicants in Illinois.

However, that estimate in processing time assumes you have not only properly filed your application, but you have filed an application that is solid and addresses any issues that may otherwise cause further delay.

Call an Immigration Lawyer in Elgin

If you have applied or plan to apply for citizenship, contact our office for a consultation. Many people apply for citizenship before consulting an immigration lawyer and end up having their applications denied for things an experienced Elgin immigration lawyer would have guided them to avoid or overcome. Do not take that risk – contact us today!


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